Their Business Ain’t My Business

There was time in ‘cowboy society’ that as long as you weren’t robbing or bloodying someone or rustling another fellas livestock, no one really minded what you did. Simply stated, “your business ain’t none of my business.”

That’s all changed. At least with the Reno Rodeo it’s changed.

As I walked to the front gate with the hope of taking some pictures, I was politely stopped and asked if I were with the press. While I’m a citizen journalist, I’m no longer credentialed with any media organization.

Responding ‘no,’ they told me that I couldn’t take my telephoto camera into the arena unless I had been ‘okayed’ by the rodeo association. “We’ve had ‘groups’ come in a take pictures of the livestock, then use those photos to cause trouble, including suing the Association, claiming the animal’s were being injured and killed for the sake of competition.”

Needless to say, it bugged me to be turned away. But not easily dissuaded, I walked off and then spent the next few minutes concealing my camera inside my rain slicker.

Approaching the gate again, I saw that the gate-staff had changed, showed my ticket and waltzed through like nothing ever happened. After making the circuit through the displays of crafts and wears, I headed for my seat in the grandstands.

While sitting there, I got to thinking about how the Reno Rodeo has changed since I first went in 1988. It’s gotten more expensive to attend and much harder to park in or around the grounds, yes, but I’m thinking more towards “your business ain’t none of my business.”

No one’s allowed to smoke on the grounds, this includes outside behind the chutes, although chew and snuff are okay. Furthermore, you cannot legally ‘carry-open’ or ‘carry-conceal’ a firearm on the grounds, even though in past years there have been some gang-shootings near the arena.

And now, no telephoto cameras. Yes, you can have a camera – a point-and-shoot or a cellphone to take a few ‘selfies’ or a video of the happenings in the arena, but nothing more.

My suspicion is that with the coming of a new rodeo facility, walk-thru metal detector’s are going to be installed so what I did can never happen again. That mean’s I need to find a good point-and-shoot camera if I’d ever like to go again for photos.

Anyway, I sat and stewed on this for about an hour, moving from disappointed to angry to disappointed again, and by the time the show kicked-off, neither my heart nor my head were in the game. In fact, I had been so preoccupied by how ‘my business was now the rodeo’s business,’ that I failed to check my shutter-speed.

It was too slow for the nighttime conditions and the distance from which I had to shoot, creating a mess of massive blur in nearly every frame. In the end, I got so caught up in the rodeo’s business that forgot to pay attention to my business.



Paul had jus’ learned that his Dalmatian was completely deaf. This saddened him immensely.

“There’s nothing we can do about it,” the dog’s veterinarian stated, “It’s inherent within the breed.”

Still, it left Paul feeling shattered. Spot had been such a perfect little guy when he and his wife selected him from the litter.

“So how did you come to believe he had a hearing problem?”

“He was sitting in front of the fan and I yelled at him not too.”

“So what’s wrong with him sitting in front of a fan?”

“His spots were flying off, creating a mess.”

Leap Frog

“They used to call me ‘Old McDonald’ or ‘Farmer John’ as a way of teasing me. But now they’re simply calling me ‘crazy’ and want to sign me up for the nearest rubber room,” Mike stated calmly to the therapist sitting in front of him.

Quietly she listened, scribbling notes on a pad before asking him, “So how does that make you feel?”

Mike thought for a few seconds before answering, “Angry, because I know what I saw.”

“And that was what exactly?” the woman calmly asked.

For the fourth time Mike repeated, “A wolf and my sheep – playing leap-frog!”

God Made the Writer

With many pardons to the late Paul Harvey…

And on the eighth day, God made the farmer to till the earth and grow crops. On the ninth day, God made the dog to be man’s best friend and a true companion. But on the tenth day, God looked down on his unlearned children and said, “They need somebody to educate and entertain them. Somebody willing to wake up, research, take notes, researcher some more, complete a rough draft, stay up past midnight checking spelling and grammar and able to bathe in the fire of the critic’s hatred.”

So, God made the writer.

God said, “I need somebody able to sit, sit some more, and sit even longer. Then with dictionary in hand, thesaurus by their side, use plain words, developing simple sentences, breaking a story without bragging, killing a story without shame, then chase down leads, take verbal abuse and who can make strong coffee. Somebody, no matter the outcome, willing to tell the truth, able to self-edit, avoid jargon and political correctness and who’ll hate the ‘red pen’ of the person who wasn’t there but is making a judgment all the same.”

So, God made the writer.

God said, “I need somebody tough enough to brave bullets, bombs and babies, fearless enough to ask the straight forward question, spending sleepless nights seeking truth and who can live off their shattered dreams. Somebody who’ll remain steady, even through periods of unemployment, who’ll look beyond the boundaries, search out new and unique ways to tell a good tale, that needs no prompting, using what they see as a guide and who’ll say, “It’s not perfect, but I’ve done my very best.”

And so, God made the writer.